Changes In Florida Alimony Law

Are you going to lose your alimony?

Florida Alimony Law

The Florida legislature is currently discussing changes in Florida alimony law.

What do the changes mean for you?

Over the last few years, Florida has made changes to the alimony law. A group called Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) has been pushing for more changes. Both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate seem to be favoring bills that will significantly change alimony, and the bills under consideration will even impact previously ordered alimony.

One of the complaints about the current alimony system is that there is not a formula for setting alimony awards so that the amounts are unpredictable and even unfair. Currently, the Judges consider a number of factors to determine entitlement to alimony and the dollar amount.

This has resulted in inconsistent alimony awards. When asked how much alimony a lifelong homemaker married to a doctor deserved, Judges in an Ohio survey estimated as little as $5,000 a year and as much as $175,000.

What about if you already receive alimony by court order?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, former spouses pay around $9 billion in alimony each year.

One of the biggest areas of concern with the changes being considered is the attempt to eliminate “permanent alimony”, alimony that is paid until death or remarriage. FAR’s website states: “Florida’s permanent alimony laws are among the most draconian and out-of-date in the country. … Because of these laws and attitudes, it is common for healthy, employed women in their 30s and 40s to receive permanent alimony.”

Florida Bar Family Law Section Chair Carin Porras characterizes FAR as a group “basically made up of people who pay alimony and are not happy about that and want to get rid of the obligation.”

The existing alimony law requires a person to come back to court if they want to terminate permanent alimony. The new bills being considered by the House and Senate would make it the norm for alimony to automatically terminate when one of the former spouses has retired or has reached normal retirement age.

The House and Senate still need to agree upon one version of the law in order for it to pass. Both bills being considered apply the changes to already existing alimony orders, so if you receive or pay alimony, you need to keep a close eye on what happens with the Florida alimony law.

If you’re interested in learning more about emotions during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

If you have questions about alimony, contact me online or call me at 239-210-7516.

Divorce Grief

     Posted on March 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm | No comment

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